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What will your invitation contain and how should you approach it?

This article will detail what an invitation to university email may look like and explain what details you should look for.
Student sat at a computer
© University of York

First things first, read your invitation to interview with careful consideration and multiple times; make sure you have understood exactly what you are being asked to do.

If you are at all unsure, make sure you contact the members of staff or team who sent you the original invitation – don’t be afraid to ask questions to ensure you fully understand how the day will run and what is expected of you.

What will your invitation to interview contain?

Your invitation to interview will likely contain the following:

  • Date
  • Venue or online platform
  • Start and finish times
  • If you need to prepare anything in advance or bring anything specific with you – often this will just be mentioned briefly in the initial invitation but information given on when they will provide you with full details
  • How to accept or decline your interview
  • How to get in touch to ask questions, or to inform of any additional requirements, or to request a different date or time
  • What will happen on the day
  • If you can bring guests

It may also contain:

  • Extra support to help you prepare (perhaps that is why you are currently taking this course!)
  • Why the course is interviewing

Preparing a piece of work in advance

Ensure you check if you are required to prepare anything prior to interview and if so when you will receive full details of this. It could be a pitch, a specific piece or work or to bring along various examples of your work, an audition or perhaps you receive a question or two from the interview in advance. Make sure you have prepared this prior to your interview! It sounds really obvious but it is actually quite common for applicants to skim read their invitation to interview and following communications and miss this vital bit. If you haven’t prepared or you don’t bring your piece of work with you then you will not be offered a place on the course!


We’ve included some examples of real invitations to interview from courses at the University of York. Have a look at these and highlight the areas that you think are important and comment to tell us why. One has been done on each of these as a guide.

Remember to right click and select ‘open in new tab’ so that you don’t lose your place on the course!

If you have received an invitation to a university interview, did it contain anything different to what we have outlined above? Share with the community in the discussion below!

© University of York
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